For the purposes of this review, Wiz sent me a selection of bulbs and devices to test and try out. They offer a good range of lighting solutions in all of the main fitting types including GU10, E27, E14 and B22.
I replaced my GU10 downlights with the Philips Wiz GU10 smart LED bulbs. The immediate difference between the new bulbs and my old ones was night and day. I was beginning to notice that my old bulbs were starting to get dimmer despite being only a couple of years old. This is a common problem with really cheap LED bulbs. By contrast, Philips Wiz GU10s are good for up to 15 years or 15,000h. Each Wiz GU10 bulb consumes up to 4.7w at maximum brightness with an effective 345lux. It’s mad to think that originally, I used 50w halogen GU10 bulbs in my kitchen. The seven of these in my kitchen consumed 350w while now this is only 33w.
The Philips GU10s are available in full RGB colour and standard ambient white light options. The latter is a little cheaper by about €4 which adds up if you have a lot of GU10s to replace.
I also received a Philip Wiz LED Dimmable 2m smart light strip which I installed on the top of my kitchen cabinets. This really added to the overall luminance in the kitchen but also created a certain ambience that wasn’t there before. The ability to further enhance this by changing colours and brightness also made a huge difference.
If you get the 2m smart light strip you can add 1m extension cables to create a total maximum length of 10m. Be careful when ordering the light strip that you don’t just order the 1m extension on its own since it won’t be useable without first getting the full 2m kit.
I also received the Philips Wiz remote which allows you to control a single bulb or groups of bulbs. This works best to control a group of lights in a single room and so I was able to control both the light strip and GU10s in my kitchen/dining room. I love the remote as it is a physical way to control my lights rather than having to always rely on Alexa or the app on my phone. I placed the remote in a convent place in the kitchen next to where the — now redundant — light switch is.
I also replaced my landing light with an 8w Philips Wiz bulb. This provides up to 806 lumens and is available in colour or white options. For convenience, I bought a Philips Wiz battery powered motion sensor so that the landing light would come on automatically. The motion detector in the Wiz app can be programmed to pick multiple illumination modes throughout the day (for example, warm white in the evening or night light at night). It can be set to turn off the light or dim the brightness when you leave the room.
Additional accessories include optional smart plugs that can make any socket smart while also featuring energy monitoring functionality.
The Wiz app is one of the most fully-featured and easier to use smart lighting systems I’ve used. Initialising new lights is incredibly easy with none of the faffing around you get some of the other systems out there. This is in part thanks to the fact that you don’t have to install and set up a separate hub.
To install a new light all you have to do is install the light into your fitting, then turn on the power. Once on, open the app and click on the ‘+’ to add a new light. This will then look for the new light and ask you to connect it to your WiFi.
You can group different lights into a single room and control them as a single light which is great in my installation where I have seven GU10s and a light strip in my kitchen. Since the latter are colour lights, you can change the colour to create a particular mood or scene. I love the way the app has a lot of preset colours based on a theme such as Romance, Party, Sunset, Jungle, Fall and so on. Of course, you can also set your own custom colour too.
You can also create customised night and wake-up scenarios to dim or brighten the lights automatically during a 30-minute period.
There's a nice selection of static settings to choose from, and you can even make your own by saving the current state of your lights and recalling them later.
The app has a scheduling feature that allows you to turn lights on and off at specific times. There’s also a vacation mode that will turn on and off lights automatically in the morning and evening to simulate occupancy.
Smart voice assistant support
All of the Wiz lights come with full support for Alexa, Samsung SmartThings and Google Nest but there’s no direct HomeKit support although Siri shortcuts are supported.
I mainly use Alexa and I was easily able to group all of my kitchen/dining lights into a single room and control them as one. You can create several rooms/groups depending on your preference and you still have control over individual lights based on their individual names.
You can easily mix and match different lighting systems like Hue, Philips Wiz or another brand and still control them via Alexa, Google or Apple Siri. However, if you want to go down the Siri route you’re better off choosing Hue.
While Hue offers a lot of options and is a more advanced system, Wiz is an excellent alternative with quality lighting, a brilliant app and voice assistant support. I love that you can start with a single light and then expand your smart home with more lights, motion sensors and remote controls.